Author Archive: Rachel

Getting Through Those First Exams!

When the semester starts off you begin to get homework, maybe some quizzes, and other assignments… But the most nervous feeling of the new semester is when you start having exams for all of your classes and, sometimes, they all begin the same week! This can be a lot to be worried about especially because most students do not know what to expect for the first exam and they are usually a big part of your final grade! If you’ve had the teacher before than you might feel more prepared because you know their teaching style, but, for most of us taking new professors, we don’t know what to expect! Will it be difficult or will it be a breeze? Juggling all of your other assignments and starting to study for these exams can be quite stressful. But don’t fret! Here are a few tips for those of you who are stressing out about exams!

  • Make time for studying! I know things can get hectic with multiple things to get finished… Believe me, I’ve been there! But make sure to set aside time for studying for that exam that you really need to catch up on and review the material you have gone over so far. And, for most of us, this will be for multiple classes! You don’t have time for everything, especially the tasks that are meaningless, like my next tip!
  • Skip watching Netflix or going to a party! Buckle down to your desk and get studying! Of course, there are plenty of things you’d rather be doing than studying for an exam, but these are priorities, especially when an exam is so detrimental to your overall grade for a class! As much as you don’t want to, find your study spot and get to work! Leaving studying to the last minute is not a great idea AT ALL!
  • DO NOT pull an “all nighter”! Sometimes there are days that you’ll have to cram for an exam and pull the famous college “all nighter” (I don’t know of any college student that hasn’t attempted to do one of these!). However, if you know that an exam is coming up, start studying beforehand so you can avoid doing this! Occasionally these can help, but getting studying and preparing for an exam done early, and getting to sleep the night before an exam will get you WAY more prepared for your big test! Procrastination is NEVER a good idea!
  • Keep a positive attitude and ask for help! If you’re telling yourself that no matter how much you study you will still do bad on an exam, this is only setting you up for failure! If you complain that you don’t understand anything, GET HELP! There are so many people that are willing to help you to success! Your classmates don’t mind helping you understand something because, in the end, it helps them too because they are reviewing the material for the test as well. Go to your professor’s office hours! Nobody knows more than the actual person running the class, so ask them for help if you’re not getting something in class! Visit a tutor! A lot of universities offer free tutors to students for multiple class types, so take advantage of it because those tutors have already taken the class and know the best ways to get through it!
  • Be prepared! Come to class ready to go with all of your materials to take your test, including your knowledge!

With these tips, there is a sure way to succeeding on that first exam for all of your classes! Stay motivated throughout the semester and the good grades and high GPA will flood your transcript! If you have any questions or anything you may think I left, feel free to comment below!


Completing the FAFSA

For those of you who don’t know, the FAFSA is the Free Application For Student Aid. The FAFSA opens on January 1st for students that will be attending college the following school year, but the thing that a lot of students don’t know is…. YOU HAVE TO UPDATE THE FAFSA EVERY YEAR YOU ARE IN SCHOOL!!

If someone does not fill it out they can be at risk for losing a lot of financial aid for their college tuition. Here are some tips about the FAFSA that are important for everyone to know:

  • Federal Student Aid comes on a first come, first serve basis. This means that you should fill out the application as soon as possible to get the most financial aid that you can. Even though the FAFSA does require the student’s and the student’s parents’ federal tax information from last year and this form doesn’t come out till February (after the FAFSA is already open), file the application using an estimate of what your annual income was last year. This will allow your spot in line to be kept and you can update the FAFSA when your federal tax form becomes available.
  • As soon as you do receive your federal tax forms, file your taxes and update your FAFSA with all of your tax information immediately. The sooner your FAFSA is updated and ALL of the information is correct, you can receive your financial aid package from your college. This will allow you to plan your class schedule accordingly and make sure your college expenses will all be covered.
  • Ask your college advisors for help with the FAFSA if you do not understand something or need additional help. All types of colleges have assistance with their financial aid program and are willing to sit down with you and your parents to go step by step through the FAFSA process. Some things on the application can be tricky or difficult to understand because the language is all very professional. Getting extra help will help you understand what exactly you are filling out and make sure that the entire application is completely accurate.
  • Do not lie or make any mistakes on the FAFSA! If there are possible mistakes on your FAFSA or anything that could be suspicious, the IRS does request that your check with them to make sure all of your information is correct. If it happens that your information is not correct, it can jeopardize whether you will be able to register for classes and even attend school. So make sure all your income information is correct and you will be fine!

With these tips, you can find your way to getting your FAFSA done early and correctly! Financial aid is a big deal when paying for college. College is expensive and everyone deserves the opportunity to attend college, which means being able to afford to go! If you have any questions, feel free to comment below!

Being Back in the Dorms

Being a resident on a college campus is a great experience! I currently live in Neuzil Hall, which is suite styled, has co-ed floors, and residents have their own bathroom and walk-in closet. Living close together in a dorm building is like building a home away from home. Everyone in my building is relatively the same age and the same year in school, so it’s an awesome feeling to be really close to your classmates.

Coming back from winter break feels like my Benedictine family is back together again! It’s an amazing feeling seeing everyone again and hearing everyone’s stories of how their winter break experience was. My entire floor is extremely close; during the first semester of this year, we were able to get to know each other very well and towards the end of the semester we all became really close knit. We hung out all the time in each other’s rooms, and, since we only live a few doors down from each other, it was easy to hangout and become as close as we have!

I’ve been blessed with such great friends/new found family members while being at Benedictine! I’m hoping that this semester allows us to become even more close!

If you have any questions on dorm life, or specifically Benedictine’s dorm life, feel free to comment below! I am a sophomore, so I have also lived in the all girls dorm during my freshman year! Can’t wait to hear from you!

Networking Beginning With Your Professors

At Benedictine University, our professors are not just teachers. Many of them have their own businesses, work outside of the university, and have their own projects that they are working on. By getting to know your professors that relate to your area of study, you can make networking connections with them, get recommendation letters from them, and, possibly even, get a job with your professor. Here’s a few tips on how to start this process:

  • Take classes with the teacher you look to network with! By taking a class with a professor, they are able to see how well you work and get to know you. By going to a professor’s office hours for help studying or homework assignments, they will get to know you and how you work, which sets up a first impression when you decide to approach the teacher with questions about working with them.
  • Do well in those classes! Teachers like to see a student that is striving to do well in their classes. If you prove that you can succeed in their class, they will be more willing to hire you or choose you to work with them.
  • Be friendly! By getting to know your teachers on a personal level and become friends with them, you can establish a relationship with them that sets you aside from other applicants, or those trying to gain a job, internship, or enrichment opportunity with them.
  • Always ask questions! These teachers have been through everything that you’re experiencing, so they will have advice on how you can improve. If you have questions on your future career or what you can improve on to achieve your goals, ask your teacher. Not only are they there to help you expand your knowledge, but they can become your friends and mentors.

Currently I am speaking with my professors and building relationships with them so I can try to gain a summer internship or a research opportunity with them in the future. Your professors are great resources for information and future opportunities!

Picking Classes for the New Semester!

A month before the current semester ends is usually when students begin to think of what they’re going to take for second semester. However, there is a lot to consider before you begin to create your perfect schedule! Some of these things include:

  • Are you going to drop any classes? Every school has a drop date towards the end of the semester. If you feel that you cannot improve your grade in a class you’re already struggling in, then it would be best to drop that class so that your GPA (grade point average) will not be negatively affected and you can have more time to focus on other classes. Do not feel bad or upset if you have to drop a class. EVERY college student will drop a class or two throughout their college years. If you do choose to drop, then make sure your next year’s schedule you either plan to retake that class so that you can have all your credits for your year in school or replace that class with something that will give you those necessary credits. Keep in mind that some classes require prerequisites in order to take that class.
  • What does your advisor say? Usually before you set your schedule permanently, you will have an appointment with your specific advisor for your major. Your advisor has been through college and already has a career that may be similar to what you plan on going into. They will help you to pick the perfect schedule for what you can handle and what will prepare you for your future career, or what grad schools you plan to attend. Be sure to take in account their advice.
  • Are your preferred times available? A lot of the times, classes fill up quickly and all of the good times are taken. This is where some students will have to compromise with a time that they may not really like. However, if there’s an option to take another equivalent class at your preferred times (general education classes are usually your best bet!), then take that class.
  • Is your preferred professor teaching that class? Sometimes whichever teacher is teaching that class can really influence whether that class is worth taking or not. Make sure you’re set up with a class that has a teacher where you can learn to your fullest potential!

All of these factors can influence which classes you should pick for the next semester. These classes can influence whether someone will graduate on time or if they will have the necessary amount of credits and classes before they graduate. Take this seriously, but, also, have fun and get excited for the new semester! Plan classes with friends so that studying can be easier and the experience will be more fun! Happy class choosing! 🙂